[translation] Dual formal/informal localization

asked 2018-04-18 21:11:23 +0300

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updated 2018-04-19 15:19:11 +0300

ossi1967 gravatar image

As the topic has been raised on the side tracks of another question, here is the topic-dedicated question:

Would it be reasonable to create 'parallel' loacalizations with a formal and an informal adress?

Languages brought up so far:

  • German
    formal Sie vs. informal du
  • French
    formal Vous vs. informal tu
  • Turkish
    formal siz vs. informal sen
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In general I'd say that this choice is part of the overall look&feel each vendor has to create for his product. Microsoft Word should be very formal, games for children not so much. The decision that Sailfish should feel informal has been made long ago by Jolla - and it was a good one.

Of course, nowadays the vendor is no longer Jolla but any company that sells their hardware with SailfishOS. They might come up with different needs for their markets.

Personally I feel duplicating languages in formal/informal is too much of an effort and doesn't provide any benefit for the end user. If someone's willing to do it, they can always add altered language packs to Openrepos.

ossi1967 ( 2018-04-18 21:33:06 +0300 )edit

I agree with @ossi1967, and would add that the common translation guidelines explicitly state the translation should be informal so long as that's a natural way of saying things in the language. The problem is also that there are varying degrees of formality, of which pronouns are only one aspect. I'm sure you can think of ten different ways to, for example, give a simple command in your language, each one more formal than the other. You could always just ask the coordinators of the translation to reconsider their choice for 'du'. The French translation does use 'vous', btw.

nthn ( 2018-04-19 00:59:21 +0300 )edit

I generally ignore people who address me in third person, singular or plural likewise. :) I prefer polite people and devices. German speaking humans and objects are not necessarily polite just because they use formal language. @ossi1967 unless we get a Favoriten-, Meidling- and especially a Leopoldstadt package.

lakutalo ( 2018-04-19 12:40:42 +0300 )edit

@lakutalo: I'd much prefer western dialects over the Viennese. People in Vienna always sound unfriendly because of the way they speak, no matter what they say. A language pack for Vorarlberg and Upper Austria would be great. Styria not so much. :)

As far as Sie/Du is concerned: Being addressed the formal way ("Sie") makes me feel old. Recently my Uber driver called me and used "Du" on the phone. When I got into his car later and he saw me, he switched to "Sie". No tip, bad rating for sure.

ossi1967 ( 2018-04-19 14:09:05 +0300 )edit

Viennese is not spoken correctly if it sounds friendly. Speaking of western: V maybe, but T, come on! They're even ruder than Ottagringos.

lakutalo ( 2018-04-19 14:25:08 +0300 )edit